Fun: Funny White Elephant Gifts

Saturday, December 08, 2007

My husband and I were attending a work holiday party and needed a white elephant gift. So I asked this question in some Yahoo Groups:

“What are some of the funniest white elephant gifts you’ve seen/received?”

I received so many great answers, I am posting some of those ideas here.


Fruit Cake
A real White Elephant plastic toy
Old videos you have already seen

- anonymous

I made a "Hillbilly briefcase". You take a large pair of men’s underwear and sew the legs closed. I then cut out two "handles" out of cardboard and glued them inside the band of the underwear. With the legs sewn closed and handles, you can open the top and put stuff in it. You now have a "briefcase". My dad is in the bishopric and he took these to one of his bishops' meetings. Got quite a few laughs.

- Melissa C.

The best white elephant ever is a jar of beans with a decorative top and a
tag saying, "Hillbilly bubble bath."

- Sharee Z.

A sitzbath from the hospital when I had a new baby. It was new and never used but quite funny. My daughter brought one women's high heel that had elbow macaroni glued all over it and spray painted gold and on the toe was one shell macaroni painted red, very cute. One year I canned peach pits while I was doing my canning thinking ahead for white elephant season, I thought it was super funny but the people who got it didn't think it was funny at all. You never know what people will laugh at.

- Sue W.

A box of SOS pads……no one wanted it…..someone got stuck with it……only to find $20 inside! Makes the one who gets stuck have the last laugh!

- Jo

I once received a couple of nice hand towels and dishcloths that had extension cords duct taped to them, with a note that said “Electric dishwasher and dryer.” They were a really nice set of towels and the cords were great too!


I always wrap up something useful like a heavy duty flashlight. I top it with a fun little stuffed animal so if it is to be bid on, it is usually sought after. Have you considered something like a couple of canisters of Play Dough? Or an absolutely huge elephant-sized item of clothing (from an outlet)? Or a very strange jar of food from an import store? Maybe a wig from a thrift store. Or maybe you could make a macaroni necklace with a really strange object hanging in the middle of it as a pendant.

- Janis K.

One of those huge Costco cans of Spam, or hominy, that is a good one too.

- Michelle D.

A silver Y2K baseball hat

8-track tapes

A bobble head pig bamboo planter

An old Thighmaster

An amateur painting of Snoopy on black velvet

Napoleon Dynamite sleep mask

Funny trend cookbooks or other specialty or how to books

Anything from the 60's or 70's

Old electronic equipment - once I found some device to make your TV louder (it was like a speaker you plugged in to bring the sound closer to you)! It had to be over 30 years old.

Virtually anything hand knitted or crocheted by a beginning knitter! The multi-colored yarns are always a big hit!

Toaster cozies, any animal accessories for the kitchen, stylized soap holders, etc.

Anything that you would buy on late night TV!

Our RS exchange next week is using the term "Shuvunda" gift - something you would "shove under" the bed!

- Elaine S.

The best one we had last year at our RS enrichment was the wife of one of the bishopric gave some kind of 70s looking dance movie. One time I got a Chevy Door handle from a decade or so previously.

- anonymous

One we did was a frame with a picture of our family.

The all time favorite though was a box of chocolates. We had my 2 year old take bites of a few different ones (and she ate some) so there were a couple missing and a couple with bites out of then. Then, to top it off, we took pictures of her eating them and printed them and stuck them in the box too! The person who got the box was excited it was chocolate (and then confused when they new our other gift was funny) so we made him open it and everybody LOVED it! Cheap, easy, hilarious!

- Sarah

I have given things that are no longer used--like fondue pans or some fad or craze, like a chiapet.

A Mr. Magoo Santa and another one of those “press-here” plush reindeers that sings and I loved
him so much I opened him myself and kept him!

Some thrift stores have lots of Christmas decorations that you would never want, but can give away. We have had this traveling monstrosity of a magi, he is sprayed gold, made with some dip and drape fabric and glue over a glass bottle. He has no hands and whoever made it commercially used a Santa mask on him. My daughter bought him at a dollar store or something years ago and this guy has made the circuits every single year.

A popular gift was an empty box because the girl wrapping it forgot to put in the horrible Christmas tie and we all just giggled (her husband, through the trade, ended up getting the empty box back), a bobble-head picture frame that also travels--it was wrapped with
another equally awful picture frame, 2 exercise videos, the good gift was a Christmas apron and hot pads with snowman peeps and a snowman chocolate bar, a hot and ready t-shirt from little Caesar's pizza with a free pizza coupon, another dated video about teaching children something or rather, a sheep-shaped welcome friends sign, and the other good gift was a candelabra that held 4 round candles on it.

- Jennifer F.

Someone I know did a ten pound bag of spuds in a really nice package.

- Lori C.

The most unusual one I've seen was a live gold fish in a bag - it was wrapped in the most beautiful looking box and safely secured inside with padding. It went around as the most exchanged/wanted one and at the end no one could believe what was inside.

Candy/chocolate are always the biggest hit. I wouldn't be brave enough to give a box of chocolates with a bite out of each one, but I would use a nice chocolate box and put something else inside like nuts, etc.

- Holly S.

One year I wrapped a package of batteries & wrote a tag that said "toy not included". We have also gotten a toilet seat cover & hot glued stones to it to "bling it up" a bit.

- Sam C.

One of the best ones though was when a sister opened up a small box with grass in it, and a small green snake. She picked it up and looked at it and commented on how real it looked then it stuck its tongue out at her. One of the men had brought a harmless grass snake as his exchange.

We once made enough caramel popcorn to fill a 5-gal bucket and brought that. The fun part about it was when you opened it the smell was so good that everyone was trying to figure out how to steal it away from the sister who had picked it.

- Darlene A.

We got a Mr. Potato Head Santa from Target that we used for YM/YW and they loved it.

- anonymous

The funniest thing I've seen was a very petite woman receive a XXXL size pair of boxers!

- Tricia M.

The ones I always thought were fun to get were the really practical ones. I once got a box that had a flashlight, toothpaste, chocolate bar, stuff like that. Everyone thought it was very funny, but I loved it because I actually was planning on stopping at the store on the way home to get toothpaste! I also once open a ceramic white elephant! That was hilarious! Here are some other great ideas:

toilet paper
rubber chicken
can of beans, gas-x, air freshner
copier paper and one of those fake 1000 dollar bills
brown lunch bag or sock paper that you made

- Allison Y.

About 10 years ago, I took a Twinkie, dated it about 5 years back as the
"use by date" and it was a huge hit! The funniest part of it is that it
keeps recirculating at the annual Christmas party! Now it's even older!
And it still is soft and un-moldy.... creepy, huh?

- Brenda